E. Winter Tashlin

Beyond Shame: Embracing Sexual Freedom

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | January 16, 2012 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Alyssa Royse, kink, sex, sexual freedom, shame, TED Talks

Self acceptance and sexual freedom is not a switch that is either on or off. Simply by coming out as LGBT, we are not automatically free beings, unconstrained by childhood or cultural baggage, although many of us feel that we should be.

In my sexuality education work, sexual-freedom-button.jpgI encounter people struggling all the time with desires that run smack into cultural expectations and boundaries. Self-identified feminists who are drawn to sexual submission, loving spouses who enjoy whipping their willing partners, and gay men who want to be called nasty slurs during erotic play, all have come to my workshops looking for ways to reconcile their desires with their values.

It is possible to deconstruct many of the reasons that these desires have such power for the people that experience them. Scores of therapists, researchers, writers, and commentators have devoted much of time and energy to this sort of analysis, but in my experience, understanding the root of one's sexual drives doesn't necessarily equate to comfort with them.

Building in part on themes born in part out of the struggle for equal rights for LGBT people, Alyssa Royse's TED Talk makes an eloquent case for embracing a cultural shift towards sexual freedom without shame. LGBT issues feature prominently in her talk, but doesn't exclusively address LGBT issues. Rather she expands on the themes and issues of shame and acceptance within the LGBT world to encourage the broader population to embrace their own desires sexual selves.

Video after the break.

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